Source: Illinois Pork Producers Association
The Illinois Pork Producers Association has their eyes set on the Korean market. The IPPA board of directors announced today that the organization is committing $30,000 to the U.S. Meat Export Federation to specifically increase pork demand in Korea. Funds are effective immediately to ensure that action is taken before year end.
“On behalf of the IPPA board, we want pig farmers to know that we recognize the struggles at hand and are spending their Checkoff dollars in a wise manner, to increase demand for our product and hopefully bring some profitability back to our farmers,” says Mike Haag, IPPA president from Emington, Ill.
The effort received a unanimous vote from the board, which consists of 24 pig farmers and allied industry members from across the state.
Korea was chosen due to the country’s consistent increase of imported U.S. pork. According to USMEF statistics, in the week of Aug. 3-9, net pork sales to Korea were up 216% and tons of pork up 37%, the largest amount in more than three years. Also, Koreans value variety meats from U.S. pork that are not utilized in the states.
WH Group, who owns Smithfield Foods, also has interest in the Korean market. Smithfield’s pork shipments to South Korea jumped as much as 50% in the first six months of the year and those to China fell by 20-30%.
In 2017, U.S. pork exports were valued at $53.47 per market hog. Without promising trade deals among China, Canada and Mexico, over $27.90 per head is at risk. With nearly 50% of added export value in danger, the IPPA says they must continue to look for growing markets and put funds where action can be implemented quickly.
The mission of USMEF is “to increase the value and profitability of the U.S. beef, pork and lamb industries by enhancing demand for their products in export markets through a dynamic partnership of all stakeholders.” IPPA is a proud stakeholder and has confidence that the funds will be applied effectively.